Review of Texas arson cases may soon yield results

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Associated Press

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 4:37 PM

AUSTIN, Texas -- A review of old Texas arson cases that advocacy groups hope will help overturn wrongful convictions may produce it first results in January.

The Austin American Statesman reports Saturday that the review, led by the Innocence Project of Texas, has identified one suspect case and is scrutinizing about 26 others.

The group is reviewing cases for signs investigators relied on now-discredited "myths," instead of science, to determine if fires were intentionally set.

A panel of fire experts assembled by new Texas Fire Marshal Chris Connealy is scheduled to hear details of the first batch of suspect cases in January.

The review was spurred by a 2011 science commission report acknowledging that unreliable science helped lead to Cameron Todd Willingham’s conviction for murder by arson..

Willingham was executed in 2004.

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